Sunday, December 9th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs CLE
by Scott Agness | December 9, 2012 | Updated: December 12, 2012 10:48 AM
The Cleveland Cavaliers arrived in in Indianapolis late Tuesday after hosting the Los Angeles Lakers earlier that night. The Pacers meanwhile, have had two days of practice since their last game in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
The Cavs received big news this week that Kyrie Irving would return after missing 11 games due to a non-displaced fracture in his left index finger. While Irving was sidelined, they only won two games.
He made a triumphant return last night, finishing with 28 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in a 100-94 win over the Lakers. He’s a playmaker and changes the entire game when he’s on the floor. George Hill may have to play extended minutes to guard Irving, who’s averaging almost 23 points and six assists per game.
Up-and-coming talent Dion Waitors, who's second on the team in scoring (15.2 ppg), is still out with a sprained left ankle. Cavs center Anderson Varejao will be active in the lane and try to disrupt the Pacers interior play. He’s averaging about 15 points and 15 rebounds per game.
Rookie Tyler Zeller out of North Carolina (and Washington, Indiana) will play his first professional game in his home state. Both Zeller and Tristan Thompson are wearing protective face masks. Zeller’s blow to his nose came from the elbow of Clippers center DeAndre Jordan over a month ago.
- C – Roy Hibbert | All-Star Voting »
- F – David West | All-Star Voting »
- F – Paul George | All-Star Voting »
- G – Lance Stephenson
- G – George Hill | All-Star Voting »
- C – Anderson Varejao
- F – Tristan Thompson
- F – Alonzo Gee
- G – Daniel Gibson
- G – Kyrie Irving
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Cavaliers: Dion Waiters (out, left ankle sprain)
We’ve done well when we’ve had a couple days of practice pile up like we had the last two days. I think we had some really good days and hopefully it pays off." – Frank Vogel "I want to see his defensive intensity, which I think is a strength of his. And I want him to play within himself on the offensive end–knock down the open shot but not try to do too much." – Frank Vogel on what he wants from Ben Hansbrough with the second unit
- The Pacers have won eight of the last night meetings, and four straight at the Fieldhouse.
- Both the Pacers and Cavaliers are near the bottom in field goal percentage and points scored.
- After playing facing Western Conference teams in eight of their last nine games, the Pacers will now play four straight Eastern Conference foes.
Indiana won three of four games against Cleveland last season, including the last two. They already met this year, though in the preseason, where Indiana controlled the game most of the way and won 100-82.
After sitting out the first five preseason games with a sore knee, Danny Granger returned and contributed nine points. David West led the Pacers with 15 points and Paul George added 14. Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 20 points in 33 minutes and Alonzo Gee chipped in 18.
The Pacers led most of the way and took the lead for good early in the second quarter. Every Pacer except George Hill (hip pointer) played.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)